It was honours even up at Hampstead Heath, with a 14-14 draw the final result against the league leaders. Chiswick will be disappointed not to have claimed all 4 points being 14-6 up at half-time, but a draw away to the league leaders is still a good result.
After a good win the week before against Harrow, Chiswick travelled to top of the league Hampstead.
Hampstead had beaten Chiswick back in September and had hammered Tabard the week before by 89 points.
Chiswick won the toss and chose to play up the slope in the first half. Sadly ill-discipline from Chiswick led to Hampstead taking an early 6 point lead. Chiswick with strong defence across the team started to turn the tide and after going through phases on half way fly half Chris Hitchcock spotted a gap. To the surprise of Chiswick and Hampstead the fat controller managed to go through the hole into open space before releasing John Afoa, sorry I mean Matt Cooper who flicked the ball out of the back of the hand to Sam Leslie Miller who scorched in from the 22. Converted by Hallett.
Chiswick continued to hang onto the ball for long periods and execute a lot of the patterns coach Sinan has been preaching during training. With Jonny Olley, Cooper, Les and Hallett making dents in the Hampstead line the home teams discipline started to falter leading to a line out on the Hampstead 10 meter line. A perfect throw from James Dibble (Chiswick lost only 2 lineouts all game) allowed the forwards to get a march on with the maul to the Hampstead 22, with a penalty advantage Miller broke into a gaping hole before passing to Jonny Olley who scored on the stroke of halftime. Converted by Hallett.
HT – Hampstead 6 Chiswick 14
Sadly, during scoring Jonny managed to pop a rib or 2, meaning he was replaced by James Filbey with Matt Cooper moving to 8.
The second half started brilliantly for Chiswick as strong defense kept Hampstead in their 22 before kicking the ball to Daniel Purkiss at 15. The full back then set off on a mazy run back down the field before feeding Max Burrows before a knock on stopped the play. Chiswick then fell asleep leading to the Hampstead wing making a break from his 22, good hands from Hampstead got them towards the Chiswick 22 before an early intervention from Russ Dovey meant he spent 10 minutes in the bin and Hampstead kicked 3 points. Hampstead 9 Chiswick 14.
Chiswick controlled the ball during the sin bin brilliantly but once again after gaining good territory into the Hampstead half a missed tackle led to the dangerous Hampstead wing scoring a good try.
FT – Hampstead 14 Chiswick 14
Each team had a few chances to win the game but a draw was probably fair result in what was described by James Dibble as a ‘battle in the mud’.
With the growing injury list (Tom G, Dan G, James B, Matt N, Ben K, Jonny O) Ania will be busy.
Author: M Copperwheat
Team: Purkiss, Small, Burrows, Hallet, Steer, Hitchcock, Dovey; Barkham, Dibble, Cooper, Allen-Clarke, Hood, Copperwheat (c), Olley, Leslie-Miller
Replacements: Filbey, Chraplywyj, Harper
T: Leslie-Miller, Olley
C: Hallett (2)